Cooler that stays cold

Table of Contents

What Cooler has the Longest Ice Life?

Updated by Brandon F. on January 17, 2020

So what cooler has the longest ice life? There can be a wide range of performance features and requirements of the many coolers on the market but the one common trait that just about everyone looks for is maximizing how long your items stay cool. This may seem like an obvious thing, but you would be surprised at how many people purchase an ice chest without doing proper research to determine how long items will actually stay cold.

The worst feeling in the world is loading up your ice chest with ice and chilled items only to discover soon after that all of the ice is gone and your items are in jeopardy of going bad. Before we get into the various components that help to maximize ice life we will list the coolers with the longest ice life that we have reviewed. All of these examples would be great products for those looking to maximize the cooling ability of their cooler.

Coolers with Longest Ice Life

Grizzly K2 Summit Pelican Elite
Our Rating
Price by Volume (Amazon)
Ice Life 7-10 days 6-8 days 7-8 days
Our Full Review

Is a Week or More of Ice Life Really Necessary?

While having an extremely long-lasting cooler might seem pretty nice, honestly for most applications it is a bit of an overkill. Somebody who is packing their daily lunch or planning on going out on a small picnic for two doesn’t need a huge, bulky cooler with extremely long ice life.

However, someone who needs a large cooler that can store a week’s worth of supplies in the middle of July or someone who needs to house a large amount of food for a huge weekend tailgate that will result in constant access to the cooler would definitely put ice life at the top of their priority list.

So it is first important to figure out if you really need an extreme level of ice retention and the associated high price that goes along with it or if your typical application will be much less demanding (which can save you money in the end).

Components of a Cooler with Long Ice Life

So what are the coolers with the longest ice life? Before we go into that, let’s discuss what makes a cooler have long ice life. While there isn’t a secret recipe, there are certain features that are oftentimes present on higher-quality coolers that directly contribute to maximizing ice life. Some of these might have a bigger impact than others, but all definitely play a part.

Material Used

Denser, higher-quality plastics and metals are generally comprising the top coolers. These plastics and metals are not very permeable and are tough enough to not have any obvious weak points where cold air could escape. This is why the coolers with impressive ice retention are also oftentimes some of the toughest on the market because. The materials that they use not only insulate well but they are also capable of handling bumps and scrapes that are typical of coolers that are actively used.

Thickness of Material

A somewhat obvious one, the thicker the material generally the longer it can perform before becoming exhausted. Some of the longer-lasting ice chests can be 2 inches thick or more!

This comes at the expense of becoming bulkier and heavier, but that is the price you have to pay for longer chill times. We do see a bit of diminishing returns in how long ice will stay in relation to the thickness of the walls. For instance, a cooler that is 4 inches thick probably won’t last twice as long as a cooler that is 2 inches thick because other components of the cooler such as the lid seal will become the limiting factor. From what we have seen from a majority of the premium brands, 2 inches seems to be the magic number that a lot strive for.

Construction

Almost all of the top coolers are comprised of rotomolded construction. This is simply where the chest is made of a single piece of plastic. What this means is that there are no weak points, which makes the product much durable and long-lasting in the ice department. For a better idea of what exactly rotomolding entails check out this helpful video:

Size

While there aren’t some sort of direct relationship, typically larger ice chests will outperform smaller ice chests, all else equal. This is because the internal environment at a given temperature is more resilient to outside conditions, especially when the ice chest is opened. For example, opening a small ice chest to remove a drink can easily result in all of the cold air quickly escaping, and the ice has to then work harder to chill the air back down to acceptable temperatures.

In a larger cooler, however, opening the lid won’t have as huge of an impact on the internal temperature, meaning things can get back to being cold much quicker and they are less affected by sudden influxes of warm air.

And, of course, the premium coolers with long-lasting ice life will typically be on the larger size to begin with due to their extra thick walls. But there are some diminishing returns: thicker walls are better but at some point, adding extra thickness sacrifices too much storage volume for not as big of an increase in ice retention.

Quality of Lid Seal

This is oftentimes called the gasket and it basically how well of a seal the lid and the body creates to keep the cold air trapped inside. Since typically the lid and the drain nozzle are the only designed open areas on the walls of the cooler, having a good seal is extremely important.

The top coolers’ gaskets will oftentimes be made of high-quality rubbers and have relatively tight design tolerances, resulting in a firm fit when closed. They will also be very large, which not only increases the squeeze but also makes them more resilient to the occasional scrape or cut that might pop up.

Hinge and Latch Quality

How “tightly” the hinges and latches keep the lid shut also play a role. A loose or weak latch can mean that the lid can ultimately push itself back open some, especially when being moved around. This is a feature that can also get significantly worse with age. A cooler that has been through a few seasons of use might start to have a less optimal latch and this could make an ice chest that once had acceptable cooling capabilities begin to struggle.

Various Other Performance Features

There are a lot of small features that different products will have that are advertised as helping to prolong ice life. This include raised legs to get the base off of the ground, slots for additional ice packs, segregated storage areas to minimize how much of the chilled volume is exposed when being accessed, and the lists go on. Some of these might seem minor but when combined they can really make a difference and a lot of the top cooler companies utilize many of them in their designs.

How Long will Ice Stay Frozen?

So when we say the “longest ice life”, how long are we typically talking about? Hours? Days? Weeks? Amazingly, the top coolers can have ice life that goes a week or more! Obviously, this number can fluctuate depending on the environment, how much ice is used, and how often it is accessed but it is completely reasonable to expect several days minimum with the top-tier products on the market. With that, here are our top choices for the coolers that have the longest ice life:

15 Best Coolers On The Market For Every Budget (Rugged And Dependable)

yeti

I am a firm believer that when it comes to coolers you simply cannot try and pinch pennies. A dollar here or there could mean the difference between coolers that keep your beer ice cold and food fresh for 24 hours or coolers that constantly send off a foul odor and you don’t know why. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mean to imply that you have to spend an arm and a leg on coolers in order to get yourself one of the finest models on the market. In fact, today we’re going to look at the best coolers on the market right now as proof that quality coolers can be affordable, so here are the 15 best coolers around.

Here Are The 15 Best Coolers On The Market Right Now

1. Igloo Outdoorsman Hardtop Gripper 22

Igloo perfectly marries all of the best features of a hardtop and soft-sided cooler with the Igloo Outdoorsman Hardtop Gripper 22. This 22-can capacity cooler has a compartment for dry storage and id doubles as an ideal cooler for every quick outing.

Buy It Here

2. Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler

Sometimes what you need the most is affordability and portability. For that time you should be looking at the Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler that allows you to carry food, drinks, and ice around. This is ideal for transporting anything cold to a party. This also has handy cupholder/beer holders on the top of the cooler so you can sit it right next to your chair and get to drinking.

Buy It Here

3. Tourit Soft Cooler

The Tourit Soft Cooler boasts extreme insulation across three distinct layers, each providing backup to the other layer. The end result is a cooler that keeps your ice frozen for a long time, up to three days! It is almost unheard of for a soft-sided cooler to keep ice frozen for such a long period of time but this is a truly exceptional cooler.

Buy It Here

4. Igloo Marine Ultra Square Coolers

igloo

igloo

If you’ve ever shopped for coolers at any point in your life then you undoubtedly already know the name ‘Igloo’. Igloo is one of the oldest and most dependable names in coolers because they make quality, affordable coolers. The Igloo Marine Ultra Square coolers come in several sizes, and in my humble opinion these coolers are designed for drinking beers on the beach. The 36-can Marin Ultra from Igloos is one of the best coolers on the market and it’s one of the best buys around.

Buy It Here

5. Yeti Tundra Cooler

yeti

yeti

Since the early days of targeting the high-end fishing community Yeti has since gone on to prove to the rest of the world that Yeti Coolers are second to none. If you are looking to spend money on a cooler that will keep you ice colder and longer than any other cooler on the market then you should look no further than Yeti Coolers, specifically the Yeti Tundra Cooler (20 Quart).

Buy It Here

6. Coleman Steel Cooler — 85 Can Capacity

coleman

coleman

The main issue many people have with coolers these days is that the high-end manufacturers have completely taken over the industry, and quality/affordable coolers are harder to come by than they used to be. That’s why you should consider purchasing the Coleman Steel Cooler, a rust-resistant, steel-constructed cooler with an 85-can (think 85 beers) capacity. The Coleman Steel Cooler comes in a variety of colors and prices, so if black isn’t your thing be sure to follow the link below to see all of the options.

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7. ORCA Extra Heavy Duty Cooler

orca

orca

Bros, don’t sleep on the ORCA Extra Heavy Duty Cooler. It features a lid gasket that provides a perfect seal, locking in the ice to keep your food and beverages chilly for hours on end. The flex grip handles make this extremely sturdy cooler easy to transport, and it is designed for maximum ice retention. This means the ORCA Extra Heavy Duty Cooler is the PERFECT cooler for camping trips, beach days, boat outings, and any other event you might want to use it for. This cooler comes in various sizes and prices.

Buy It Here

8. Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series (22-125 Quart)

canyon

canyon

Canyon Coolers makes the bold claim that their Outfitter Series of coolers are ‘COLDER THAN YETI’, and that’s not a claim you can just make in the cooler market if you’re not prepared to back it up. Unlike Yeti Coolers, Canyon Coolers start at a much lower price point, which is ideal if you’re in the market for a high-end ice locker but aren’t willing to press the limits of your bank account. It comes with a lifetime warranty, and the 35-quart model will hold up to 36 cans of beer. The Canyon Coolers 35QT Outfitter Series Cooler will also keep ice frozen for an astounding 6 to 18 days!

Buy It Here

9. IceMule Coolers Pro Coolers (Cooler Backpack)

icemule

icemule

I simply cannot say enough great things about the IceMule Cooler Pro, they are in my opinion the ONLY cooler backpacks on the market that worth your money. I’ve owned one of these myself for quite some time now, I’ve gone fishing with it for 12 hours in the hot Florida sun and both my beer and ice stayed as cold as the frozen tundra.

You might think that because it’s a large backpack full of ice and beer that it would be uncomfortably heavy, but you would be wrong to think that. After bringing the IceMule Cooler Pro around my friends more than a handful have already purchased this backpack cooler for themselves, and I am willing to guarantee that you will not regret this purchase if you’re in the market for a cooler like this.

Buy It Here

10. YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler

The YETI Hopper Two Portable Cooler has been my favorite over the past few beach seasons. This is unique amongst Yeti Coolers offerings. It’s recommended for camping and hiking as it is very easy to transport with the long and comfortable strap. Just like every other cooler made by Yeti the Hopper Cooler will keep your food and beer ice cold for days, because it comes with the finest craftsmanship on the market.

Buy It Here

11. K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler

K2

K2

K2 Coolers aren’t exactly a household name like some of the other coolers in this roundup of the best Coolers on the market, but that doesn’t mean you should look past K2 when making a purchase.

The K2 Coolers Summit 20 features extra thick insulation for maximum ice retention, something you want to look for when making a cooler purchase. It also offers a ‘one piece roto-molded polyethylene construction’ that makes it one of the most sturdy and durable coolers on the market. Furthermore, the Summit 20 Cooler from K2 Coolers comes with a 7-year warranty so you know that you’ll be protected after purchase.

Buy It Here

12. AO Coolers Vinyl Fishing Soft Cooler (Size Varies From 12 to 48-Pack)

AO

AO

This soft cooler comes in multiple sizes (12-pack, 24-pack, 36-pack, and 48-pack), so you should purchase accordingly based upon how many beers or sodas you plan on drinking while fishing. The AO Coolers Vinyl Fishing Soft Cooler is one of the most portable coolers on the market, and it’s GUARANTEED to hold ice for 24-hours in 120-degrees fahrenheit. So you’ll never have to worry about your ice melting on an overnight camping trip. It also features a removable shoulder strap and side pocket to store your dry items, as well as a leak-proof liner.

Buy It Here

13. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

Coleman

Coleman

Perhaps you are looking for a tailgating cooler, one with wheels. If that’s the case then the Coleman 42-can wheeled soft cooler is the exact cooler that you’ve been looking for. This wheeled cooler will hold 42-cans of beer, plenty for you to toss back before the big game. It also features a removable hard plastic liner for improved carrying flexibility, as well as front, top, and side pockets for additional dry storage.

Buy It Here

14. Igloo Polar Cooler (120-Quart)

Igloo

No good list of the best coolers on the market would be complete without the 120-quart Igloo Polar Cooler, the best bang for your buck on the market. These large coolers are PERFECT for storing ice and food around Thanksgiving and Christmas time (at least that’s what we use them for in my family). They’re VERY affordable at just $55, and they will keep ice frozen for up to FIVE DAYS at 90-degrees fahrenheit, so they are pretty much as high performance as you’d ever be looking for. This is a cooler to keep in your house or garage, this isn’t your typical travel cooler. Though it could be ideal as a camping cooler if you’re staying in a campground because you can pack a weekend’s worth of supplies into this one Igloo Polar Cooler (it also doubles as a seat!).

Buy It Here

15. Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler (65QT)

Pelican

The ProGear Elite Cooler form Pelican Products comes in a variety of sizes but for general use I’d suggest looking into either the 65QT or the 45QT models. Pelican claims that this cooler will keep your ice frozen for up to TEN DAYS thanks to its unique freezer grade gasket and 2″ polyurethane insulation. This durable cooler is as high-quality of a product as you’ll find anywhere on the market, and Pelican really deserves more coverage than it gets from the retail world.

Buy It Here

The BroBible team writes about gear that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.

Any camper or road tripper bound for a multi-day excursion has come across the conundrum of how to keep food viable for the duration of their stay. Cooler material and size, type of cooling agent, and storage choices all impact how long you can trust that dairy-packed frozen casserole you made just for the occasion.

10 Ways to Keep Food Frozen in Your Cooler Longer

1. Use Both Large and Small Ice Chunks

Small chunks of ice are able to reach a larger surface area of your food, thus cooling it down quicker. Larger chunks, however, take longer to melt. Using a combination of both large and small chunks of ice is best to strike a balance so you can enjoy cold drinks on the first night but still trust those chicken skewers for dinner the next day.

2. Use Frozen Water Bottles

Simple cubed ice is great because it is easy to acquire and you can buy it from park stores to continually add throughout your stay. For your larger chunks of frozen material, however, consider freezing water bottles prior to your trip. The bigger the ice chunk, the longer it takes to thaw, plus the plastic adds an additional (if not very substantial) layer of insulation. Once the water has thawed it can be consumed, making efficient use of the space in the cooler.

3. Store Food in Sequence

Air is the enemy of your war against melting. The more air that gets in the cooler, the quicker the contents will thaw, so you want to make sure you spend as little time as possible rummaging through the cooler. Therefore, you should plan out your meals and make sure that you store the food in sequence of use so that what you’ll need will be easily accessible at the top of the cooler.

4. Don’t Drain the Water

Once your ice has melted, keep the cold water in the cooler instead of draining it. It will have a lower temperature than the air that would replace it if you took it out and thus will keep your contents cooler longer. Plus, keeping liquid in the cooler means that more surface area of your frozen foods will be touching a cooling agent. If you plan on leaving the cold water in with your food, make sure everything is properly sealed.

5. Freeze Dense Food Items

Consider using your frozen foods as their own type of ice pack. You may not often go camping with large chunks of meat, but a small frozen ham will act as an extremely effective ice pack, save on space in the cooler and provide the base of a delicious meal. It may be so effective in its capacity as ice pack that it needs to be thawed briefly by the edges of a campfire before cooking! Think about what food you may want to bring camping and decide what of that can double as a cooling agent.

6. Choose Your Cooler Carefully

The kind of cooler you need depends to a degree on how long and where you’ll be travelling.

  • If you are looking to store only lightweight items over a short period of time, a Styrofoam or insulated cooler bag will be fine. The LIFOAM 30-Quart Styrofoam Cooler is perfect for day trips like picnics or days at the beach, and basic soft-sided coolers like the RedHead Camo Cooler, though intended mainly for drinks, will also work for shorter trips.
  • If you need substantial space and durability over the course of several days, you’ll want to buy plastic or even stainless steel and pay closer attention to ice-holder ratings and the quality of the lid seal. The longer you camp, the more important the lid seal becomes, because if you are opening the cooler time and again over the course of five days, you want to make sure no excess air is getting in. The Coleman 62-Quart Xtreme is a popular and well-reviewed choice. Its wheels and cup holders make it a pretty advanced choice for a plastic cooler.

  • If you will be camping near water, a tightly sealed stainless cooler like the Coleman 54-Quart Stainless Steel Cooler is best, as oftentimes it will be beneficial to store your cooler in the water, depending on the time of year and water temperature.

7. Consider Using Dry Ice

If you own the proper type of cooler, you can consider using dry ice to keep your frozen food from perishing. Certain types of coolers, specifically those made by pioneering, top-of-the-line outdoor gear manufacturer YETI, are designed with this in mind.

The coveted YETI Tundra 45 gets outstanding reviews but will run you $350. You can acquire a more affordable alternative if you sacrifice the name in favor of something like the Igloo Sportsman Cooler.

A relatively new practice in the world of camping and hunting, dry ice can be an alluring alternative to regular ice, but is costlier and requires protective gear. If you plan trying out this technique, visit the dry ice directory to see where you can purchase in your area.

8. Add Additional Insulation

It’s simple: more insulation means it will take the ice longer to melt. Consider the level and specific kind of insulation offered by your cooler.

  • If you’re sporting a typical plastic tote, see if there’s room to squeeze in a small layer of Styrofoam on the sides of the cooler (you can buy Styrofoam blocks online from wholesalers).
  • Put items that you fear will defrost quickly (or be more problematic when thawed, such as chicken) in a separate insulted cooler bag before placing them in the cooler.
  • Also add additional insulation in the form of a frozen towel on the bottom or top of the cooler.

9. Store the Cooler in a Cool Shaded Area

The sun will definitely expedite melting, so as soon as you arrive at your destination, scout a cool, shaded area to store your cooler. If you are an adventurous camper who plans on communing with nature during the winter or early spring, look for holes in frozen lakes (or make one yourself) and set the cooler there, as long as it’s not in direct sunlight or in danger of floating away.

10. Freeze for as Long as Possible Beforehand

Make sure you freeze all frozen food items for at least two days before the trip is set to begin. Also, it’s a good idea to lower the temperature of the cooler before placing food items inside. Grab a sacrificial bag of ice and let it melt inside the cooler to pre-chill it before packing.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is the key to successfully sustaining your camp food. Consider the number of days you’ll be gone and buy the appropriate type of cooler. Plan ahead and pack the cooler accordingly, but not before pre-chilling it (and your food!) Add extra insulation, use more than one kind/size of cooling agent and make sure you find a good place for your cooler as soon as you set up camp. With a bit of advance planning, you’ll have no trouble enjoying all the food you prepared for your special trip.

Tips on how to keep your cooler cold, your ice from melting too fast and your food fresh when traveling in the desert.
by Lynn Bremner of DesertUSA.com

One of the challenges of camping in the desert is keeping your ice cold and thus keeping your food and beverages cold and edible. How can you preserve your ice so it doesn’t melt so quickly? How can you keep your food from getting soggy from the melted ice? How can you keep a cooler cold for 5 to 10 days if ice is not available for purchase nearby? These are some of the most common questions asked by campers.

What type of cooler should you use?

There are many types of coolers to choose from, including metal, plastic, Styrofoam, soft-sided nylon and hard-sided plastic. The soft-sided nylon coolers and Styrofoam coolers are suitable for day trips. If you are camping overnight or going on a longer trip, it is very important to get a durable cooler that can keep your food and beverages cold over a period of time. Metal coolers hold heat longer when left in the sun, so plastic coolers are the most popular choice for campers.

Otterbox Venture Coolers

The Best Coolers of 2018

We read a lot of online reviews and these cooler brands/models kept coming up as the best coolers of 2018.

Large Coolers
OtterBox Venture 65
Orca 58 – 140 QT
Yeti Tundra 65 -350 QT
Pelican Elite 55-250 QT
Engel Deep Blue 50- 320 QT
RTIC 65
Grizzly Cooler 60 – 400 QT
Coleman Xtreme 70 Quart (Best Value)
Igloo Quick and Cool 100 – 150 QT
Igloo Yukon Cold Locker 50 – 150 QT

Mid-sized Coolers
Otterbox Venture 45 QT
Orca 40 QT
Yeti Tundra 35 – 50 QT
Pelican Elite 45 QT
RTIC 45 QT
Grizzly 40 QT
K2 Summit 50 QT
Coleman Xtreme 50 QT (Best Value)
Igloo Yukon Cold Locker 50 QT

Best Small Cooler
OtterBox Venture 25 QT
Orca 20 QT or 26QT
Yeti Roadie 20 QT/14 Can Capacity
Pelican Elite Cooler 20 QT, 35 QT
Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 QT
RTIC 20 QT
Grizzly 15-20 QT
K2 Summit 20-30 QT
Stanley Adventure Small Ice Chest /21 Can Capacity

Trooper LT 30 gives you the option to carry with shoulder carry or backpack carry. (PRNewsfoto/OtterBox)

Soft Portable Coolers
Otterbox Trooper LT 20 & 30
Yeti Hopper Two 20 Portable 18-Can Capacity
Coleman Soft 10-Can Cooler
Ozark Trail 20-Can Leaktight Cooler

When selecting a plastic or hard-sided cooler, make sure to choose a cooler that has an insulated lid with a tight seal. Wheels and big handles for easier management are also beneficial features. Make sure your cooler has a plug on the bottom for water drainage.

Preparation
Pre-chill your drinks and food before placing the items in the cooler. You’ll extend the life of your ice by pre-chilling all items. You can also pre-chill your cooler by filling it with ice to chill the interior, prior to packing it with food and beverages.

Freeze plastic bottles of water or canned drinks that are not carbonated, such as Hansen’s fruit juices. The frozen drinks will act as ice and will keep the other items in your cooler colder. You can also freeze water or other non-carbonated beverages in gallon milk or juice jugs. They can be consumed when the liquid inside melts.

Freeze meat, and any other food that can be frozen, to help keep the food cold and fresh. Freeze bread and other food items that don’t require refrigeration, and store these items in a dry cooler without ice to keep food fresh and dry.

Line your cooler with Reflectix (aluminized bubble wrap). You can find it at most home improvement stores. It was invented to insulate homes and buildings. Smart campers came up with the idea to use Reflectix to keep the heat out and the cold air in coolers. Cut the Reflectix into pieces that fit, lining the inside of your cooler, including the top/lid. You can even throw a sheet of Reflectix over the outside of your cooler to further insulate it.

Packing your cooler

Pack items in your cooler in chronological order based on when you plan to use or consume the items. Put the items you will use last on the bottom of the cooler, and those you will need access to first, on top. Cold air travels down, so pack the items in the cooler first and then pack either crushed ice or block ice on top. Make sure you pack your cooler tight as air pockets can increase the temperature inside.

Pack perishables such as meat or dairy products directly on the ice. Put food in zip-lock plastic bags or in plastic containers to keep it dry as the ice melts.

For longer trips it’s a good idea to keep your beverages in a separate cooler that can be opened more frequently. Put all of your food in another cooler and open it less often.

The Ice

What type of ice should you use? Crushed ice cools items faster, but ice blocks last longer. Block ice is recommended for trips that are more than one or two days. Dry ice will last the longest and keep your food dry, but requires some special handling.

You can freeze water in quart-sized zip-lock bags. They will work just like ice packs, but won’t leak water as they melt. In addition, the bags of water, once melted, can be refrozen and used again. As noted above, frozen water bottles, milk or juice jugs filled with water or juice can be used in place of, or with ice cubes or blocks. Frozen blue ice packs also work well in place of ice.

If you are going on a trip where you will not be able to purchase ice or where you need your cooler to stay cold for several days or weeks, consider dry ice. Dry ice comes in blocks wrapped in paper. Keep the paper on the dry ice or wrap it in newspaper or craft paper. Don’t pick up the dry ice with your bare hands. Use gloves or some sort of barrier between your skin and the dry ice as it will burn your skin.

Dry ice will crack a plastic cooler if it is sitting directly on the bottom of the cooler or touching the sides. The dry ice needs to be wrapped in paper (NOT plastic), and placed on a rack or barrier so it doesn’t crack your cooler. You can cut down a cheap Styrofoam cooler, place the dry ice in the bottom of the cut down portion, and then place that inside of the plastic cooler. This creates a barrier between the dry ice and the plastic sides and bottom of the cooler. You might also try putting a stainless steel dish rack with legs in the bottom of the cooler and then placing the dry ice on the rack. Stainless steel dish racks can be found in most stores that sell kitchenware.

Anything stored right next to dry ice will freeze. Keep this in mind when packing fruit, dairy products or other items that you don’t want to freeze. Dry ice does not melt, it sublimates and keeps items cold or frozen, and dry.

Another idea is to pack the dry ice in a separate cooler and surround it with frozen blue ice packs. Don’t put any food or beverages in this cooler, just the dry ice with frozen blue ice packs. Once the blue ice packs in your food or beverage cooler are used up, switch the blue ice packs with fresh ones out of the dry ice cooler. It’s a great way to refreeze your blue ice packs and avoid damage to your food by freezing it too much with dry ice.

Does Salt Keep Your Ice Colder?

Fact or fiction . . . does salt keep your ice colder? Well, kind of. Salt melts ice. When salt is mixed with water and ice together, it can bring the freezing temperature of the water to a lower degree, making the water colder without freezing it. What this means is that the combination of salt, ice and water creates really cold water. The down side is that salt also causes the ice to melt, and the goal of keeping your ice cold for a long period of time is to keep the ice from melting.

The ice/water/salt combo is s a great trick if you are having a party, run out of cold drinks and need to chill something quickly. Put some water in a big bucket or pot, put the canned beverages or bottled beverages into the container, add ice and salt to the water and stir the mixture. Put the container with the salt water mixture and the drinks in the freezer and those beverages will be chilled in a matter of minutes. Or keep the mixture out and spin the drinks in the fluid – that will also speed up the chilling process. If you don’t spin the beverages or put the mixture in the freezer it will still chill the drinks faster than ice alone or your refrigerator would without the ice/water/salt mixture.

During your trip . . .

Once you arrive at your camping location be sure to keep your coolers in the shade and out of the sun. You can put an old sleeping bag over them for further insulation. You can also use a tarp or Reflectix to keep the sun off the cooler. Ice will last twice as long when your cooler is placed in the shade.

Only open your coolers when necessary and when you do open the cooler, close it right away. Don’t drain the cold water from freshly melted ice out of the cooler, as the cold water helps keeps the items in the cooler cold. Drain the water only when necessary to create more space in the cooler or when adding more ice.

More Tips
Heat acclimation – Combating the desert heat.

7 Apps to Improve Your Camping Experience

Desert Survival Skills

How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Survival Tool

Affiliate Disclosure:Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more here. Mammoth Coolers tried to get in on the explosion of the high-end cooler market that started about 6 years ago, when word spread like wildfire about Yeti’s super durable, super high-performance coolers that you could put a beer and a live grenade in, and have the former emerge as the victor (still cold, of course).

OK, that last bit is an absurd exaggeration, but the part about Yeti sparking a cooler revolution is of course quite true.

Since about 2011 when they really hit it big and their products started flying off the shelves, Yeti has had to fight and fend off an absurd amount of competition from manufacturers that have produced similarly high-quality roto-molded coolers, albeit with more manageable price tags.

Mammoth was (is) one of those competitors, although they have not fared quite as well since their entrance to the market as the likes of Grizzly, RTIC, Orca, K2 coolers, etc.

Before their high-end range of coolers could even gain a fair showing in the industry, word got out that the company was being sued by Yeti themselves under a trade dress infringement lawsuit, for manufacturing and selling products that were ‘confusingly similar’ to their own. (Yeti filed the same lawsuit recently against Wal-Mart for infringement on their Rambler tumblers).

Since then (this was only back in December of 2015), Mammoth has become a veritable phantom as far as the availability of their coolers are concerned. And, a verdict on the lawsuit has apparently remained rather hush-hush, as we could not manage to scrape up much news on the case after scouring the net.

So what does this all mean for you, the consumer?

Mammoth Coolers: Quality products, no matter how you look at it.

Like the old saying goes, ‘there’s always two sides to a pancake.’

You can argue all you want about the ethics and moral implications of buying a Mammoth cooler or Mammoth ice chest (or any of Yeti’s other competitors, for that matter), but the bottom line is that is a job for the courts and fancy lawyers to sort out.

Our job? To provide a simple, unbiased, honest-as-can-be product review. So let’s get to it!

Mammoth Coolers In-depth Review

Mammoth originally manufactured and distributed two different models of coolers: the Discovery and Titan series.

All of the coolers are in fact very well-made, and constructed of state-of-the-art materials that you’d expect to see in a high-end cooler.

Like Yeti’s, they are roto-molded, meaning the liquid insulation material is poured into the walls of the cooler, and then rotated around continuously while the insulation expands and solidifies in a permanent fashion in all nooks and crannies of the cooler.

As far as durability, Mammoth Coolers actually have some of the thickest sidewalls in the industry, at 2” (this includes the lid, too). This provides for some serious rigidity, durability and ice-retention performance, but also makes them just a bit heavier than some of their competitors’ models.

Features-wise, all Mammoth ice chests include a heavy-duty non-skid bottom, ‘easy-grip’ carrying handles attached to heavy-duty rope, and a convenient no-leak drain system with a sealed gasket. Also, the lid closes onto a high-quality, sealed gasket as well.

One of Mammoth Cooler’s best features, though, in our opinion, is their hinge system which is a one-piece design that extends through the full length of the lid. This allows for the entire hinge system to be virtually indestructible – it’ll last as long as the cooler lasts, which will probably be a very, very, very long time.

Main Features

  • Roto-Molded Construction
  • Heavy Duty Hinge System
  • Secure Lid Latches
  • No-Leak Drain System
  • Non-Skin Bottom
  • Easy Grip Handles
  • Convenient Security Points

Mammoth Ice Chest – Sizes and Models

Mammoth Discovery Cooler

Check availability and latest price at Amazon.

Mammoth Titan Cooler

The Titan models were produced in 31, 67, 83, 100, and 130-quart options.

Check availability and latest price at Amazon.

In all honesty, the product descriptions for both the Titan and Discovery models are exactly the same on the Mammoth website, so we’re not really sure what the heck the difference between the two is, other than size options, color, and finish. (The Discovery coolers are tan and have a ‘rough’ finish, while the Titan ones are white and have a ‘smooth’ finish).

Mammoth Coolers for Sale: Where to Buy Online

Wondering where to buy Mammoth Coolers? Like we mentioned earlier, Mammoth have become a bit ghost-like as far as the availability of their different models.Currently, it appears that only the Discovery models are available at Amazon, and in very limited quantities.

There was a ‘blemished’ batch (factory second, we’re guessing?) of the Titan 31-quart models available at Amazon, but they have since sold out.

We can’t say for certain, but we’re wondering if the Yeti lawsuit has something to do with the current scarce availability of Mammoth Coolers. Seems plausible.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is, the whole aura behind this company seems a bit funky. From their odd size-ranges to their haphazardly constructed website with identical descriptions for two apparently ‘different’ products, the whole thing is just a little strange. Which is a bit of a shame, in fact, because like we mentioned in the review, these are actually some darn good coolers.

If you get a chance to get your hands on one for a decent price, then by all means go for it – Mammoth Coolers can stand up to any of the other industry-leading brands.

However, we wouldn’t recommend spending full retail price on one, and we certainly don’t recommend scrambling around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find one – if you do, you’ll probably just end up giving yourself a Mammoth headache.

Here is a nice video with Mammoth Cooler 35 QT Titan

16 Top Rated Coolers – Which Is The Best Ice Chest?

What are the top rated coolers on the market today? I show you the best coolers on the market as rated by previous customers so you can choose the right ice chest for you.

By looking at the ratings customers of these products leave we can work out which coolers have the most happy customers and which coolers look and sound great but may not live up to expectations.

Why Customer Ratings Are Important

In most of my articles (like this one) I rate coolers based on price, ice retention, quality and features.

However, sometimes just looking at specs, company propaganda and ice retention tests fall short of telling you the truth about a cooler.

Customer reviews, on the other hand, are an amazing source of information and are great for helping us choose the best cooler to spend our money on.In this

In this article, I am going to show you what the top rated coolers are and share some customer reviews with you.

NOTE: In this page I am talking about the high-end roto-moulded coolers like Yeti.

Top Rated Coolers

Below I will list the top rated coolers in decending order. That means the first cooler I list is the one with the highest rating and most reviews

WINNER Orca – 4.7 Stars (45 Reviews)

The Orca cooler is one of the highest performing coolers in terms of ice retention and it is proudly made in America (not offshore) so I’m not surprised that it claimed the #1 spot for highest rated cooler.

The Orca isn’t the cheapest coolers on the market, in fact it is priced equally to the Yeti, which is one of the most expensive coolers. However, it seems you get what you pay for because the Orca is loved by its customers with an amazing 4.7/5 rating overall.

Positive Review Example

The cooler was a gift from my kids to my husband. It does everything the manufacture claims. We love that its American made and has a lifetime warranty. Plus we had a choice of colors. Its a great size for carrying meat for camping weekends and tough enough to use as the everyday drink cooler on a farm truck. We love people and use things so I wont say we love it. However its great and we are glad we chose Orca.
5 STARS

Critical Review Example

I bought this cooler because it’s locally made. I also own a Yeti. The overall quality of the cooler is comparable to a Yeti. They also seam to perform similar. My gripe is with the handle. If you pull the cooler handle to one side it pops out of the set hole very easily. Which then puts scratches in the cooler. For a $230 cooler I’d expect that to be better. Cooler also arrived with the storage net ripped. I contacted Orca’s warranty department and they immediately sent a new one.
3 STARS

If you’re interested in learning more about this cooler check out my indepth comparison of the Orca vs Yeti

ALSO GREAT Grizzly Cooler – 4.7 Stars (44 reviews)

The Grizzly cooler is also a great cooler made in the USA. This rating surprised me because in the ice retention tests I have seen the Grizzly underperformed almost all other roto-moulded coolers.

It still keeps ice cooler for 4-5 days, but just not as long as some other coolers that keep ice 6-10 days and not as good as the Yeti, which has become the standard to test all coolers against.

Yeti you can’t argue with the customers and without a doubt Grizzly cooler customers LOVE their coolers.

Positive Review Example

Love this color, Spent around a month trying to decide if I wanted A Yeti, Grizzly, or other brand. Very glad I went with Grizzly. Holds ice very good. Can’t go wrong with this cooler
5

Negative Review Example

Waste of $$$$. It does not keep ice for more than 1 day. I have even pre-cooled the chest with frozen milk jug. My pelican box is hands down better that this cooler. An igloo is cheaper and will hold ice for the same amount of time. 2 thumbs down
1 STAR

MOST POPULAR Yeti – 4.6 Stars (498 reviews)

The Yeti is the cooler by which all other coolers are measured. Yeti created the first ever roto-moulded cooler and have a famous brand name for a reason.

Their coolers are rough, tough, durable and keep ice cold for a very long time. With the most reviews of any cooler on the market and an overall rating of 4.6 this is a very impressive cooler and customers are obviously happy with it.

Positive Review Example

You get what you pay for here, and what you get is a cooler that when properly cooled beforehand will keep things frozen for days. No joke. This is the real deal. Don’t ever buy another cheap cooler again, save your pennies and buy this one instead. My husband leaves it in a hot car during the day and his lunch and drinks stay completely cold. Awesome.
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

Junk got the tundra 65 for Christmas use it for work one night hardly open the thing maybe open it 5 time and next day nothing but water tried calling yeti no answer left a message and no call back so look into the orca they actually give back from on proceeds
1 STAR

4. Igloo Yukon Cooler – 4.6 Stars (46 Reviews)

Wow, I did not foresee Igloo making one of the highest rated coolers on the market. I expected this to be a sub-par roto-moulded cooler but if customer satisfaction is anything to go off this is a great cooler for a fraction of the price of a Yeti.

Positive Review Example

This cooler is everything as advertised and more. Very impressed with the performance and durability of this cooler. I packed it with ice and beverages to see how long it would hold ice, going on 9 days so far. It hasn’t been that warm out which I know is a factor, but I’m still impressed.
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

Have used it twice will not hold ice the temperature was 70 degrees in the shade and by that evening the ice was just about melted not worth the money drain plug leaks too! Love the handles and latches on it!
1 STAR

5. Pelican ProGear Elite – 4.5 Stars (318 Reviews)

The Pelican ProGear Elite is the most feature-rich cooler with strong fold out handles, integrated ruler, strong metal latches and a drainage plug with a hose attachment.

The Pelican is known to be one of the best coolers on the market and with hundred of positive customer ratings I would definitely feel comfortable buying one of these coolers.

Positive Review Example

I can say after a year of use, my yeti is going on eBay. If you use a cooler constantly like we do, you’ll love this. We hit the lake and camp/boat religiously every weekend. This thing is either in front of my camper in the hot sunlight or in the back of my black truck in direct sunlight. This thing holds the ice and it’s tough. I’ve used it as a small ladder, dropped it out of the truck ect. You can’t tear this up. The quality is better than yeti, lifetime warranty vs a 5 year at a lower cost. Nita a no brainer. Now, if you use a cooler once or twice a year at the ball game it probably isn’t worth the price but if you’re in the outdoors often you won’t be disappointed. This will pay for itself in ice and durability. I even went and bought a 20qt that fits perfectly in the boat. My yeti has been in the closet since I bought this and will soon be sold.
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

I’ve used this a dozen times and haven’t found it to be this magical cooler that you’d expect for the price. I would say on average my 50 dollar coolers keep ice just as well as this and weigh less. It is sturdy, but expected more out of this product and company. I have multiple pelican gun cases that are great, but this fell short of expectations.
2 STARS

6. Engel – 4.5 Stars (198 Reviews)

Engel is one of 5 coolers that tends to outperform Yeti in terms of ice retention (the others are Canyon, Pelican, Siberian and Orca) so I’m not surprised to see this cooler with such a respectable rating.

Positive Review Example

serves its purpose and so far has done very well. I’ve held ice in there for a week or more. You need to get a bag of ice to sacrifice and lower the internal temp before trying to store something for a long time. I quartered a deer and placed in the cooler and it held the heat from the meat until I could get more ice. If you’re using it for hunting or a long fishing trip be sure to use a bag to acclimate the cooler first
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

*** BUYER BEWARE *** Do not buy the Engel Deep Blue cooler. These coolers are poorly constructed. When I received my cooler the lid was warped and latches did not latch the lid tightly. These coolers are constructed in Thailand. I had to pay $38.00 to ship the cooler back to the vendor and the vendor will not reimburse me for the shipment cost.
1 STAR

7. K2 Cooler – 4.5 Stars (10 Reviews)

K2 coolers aren’t as well known as Yeti or Pelican but they are loved by their customers. A great alternative to the Yeti at a fraction of the price.

Positive Review Example

I love this cooler, ice stays cold, before I go out I keep this cooler in my deep freeze, yeti is buying a brand, k2 is buying quality at a great price, for my cooler needs this one exceeds them, had an issue with Amazon shipping, k2 company pulled through, I will definitely be buying at least one more cooler in the near future. I like the green color, great size for the boat. Ps. (Make one cooler that says “unauthorized opening can result in death”) I’d buy it!
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

This is a well built cooler that should last a long time however the ice retention is really no better that the Coleman Xtreme cooler (which I own and this replaced). My Pelican 65 cooler outperforms this cooler by far, but I needed a cooler with the dimensions the K50 had as it fit in my boat well. I normally pack my cooler for 2-3 days with drinks. This cooler in the AZ desert heat can get 2 maybe 3 days with a towel over it to absorb some of the sun, this includes prechilling the cooler and drinks, where my Pelican can make 5 days no problem.
3 STARS

BUDGET PICK Sub Z Cooler – 4 Stars (32 Reviews)

Before creating this article I hadn’t even heard of Sub Z coolers. These are ridiculously affordable coolers and can also come with a seat attachment for just $30 more.

Positive Review Example

Gave my son Brad this cooler for Christmas. Couldn’t afford a Yeti but this cooler is very comparable at a lower price. 8lb bag of ice kept as ice for 3-4 days. Room for drinks and sandwiches for 4 while at the dirt track. Cooler is heavy when loaded. Anything larger would require 2 people to carry. Exterior is solid and easy to clean.
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

This thing holds ice much better than any department store cooler. I have a Yeti cooler and it’s nearly as good, performance-wise. But the quality isn’t nearly as good as it should be. The lid will not stay in the open position, it just falls shut as soon as you let it go. The lid does not seal properly and one side wall is deformed. So half the cost of yeti, and half the quality.
3 STARS

9. Canyon – 4 Stars (14 Reviews)

I was surprised Canyon got such a low rating compared to other coolers as I have previously rated it the best camping cooler on that market because of it’s extra insulation and premium ice retention.

With over 14 reviews it’s hard to make a final call about the rating this cooler will settle on in the future but from the reviews I have read the positive reviews aren’t as passionate as other brands like Yeti, Grizzly or Orca and the negative reviews make me doubt my initial impressions of this cooler. More research to be done on this one.

Positive Review Example

We chose the canyon cooler based on price and comparable reviews to other high end coolers. After using it on a month long Baja road trip adventure I can confidently say we made a good choice. We were in and out of the cooler every day and went through about one bag of ice every 5-7 days. Testing shows the Yeti to perform slightly better but it seems negligible considering the price difference. We like the long rope handles for straight arm carrying and straight outside walls for packing around it in the car. Construction is robust and I don’t see why we wouldn’t have this cooler for decades. Time to give away our old igloo cooler.
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

Purchased this cooler after much deliberation. It’s nice and does it’s job well….BUT…I’m not wowed by it’s performance.
3 STARS

Highly Rated Coolers But Not Enough Reviews

10. Igloo Sportsman – 5 Stars (1 Review)

Another roto-moulded cooler from Igloo the Sportsman has a 5 star rating on Amazon, but unfortunately there are only 4 reviews which isn’t really enough to go off.

The Igloo Yukon is one of the highest rated coolers so hopefully the Igloo Sportmans are just as good.

Positive Review Example

Great product, purchased at sam’s for the same price. Main reason I bought from sam’s is the quality issues. Meaning they had eight and only one had perfect seal and no cosmetic blemishes. Cooler worked as advertised, ice was good for all weekend at the lake with continuous opening and closing in sun, still had some ice after the weekend. Amazon has great return policy, at the same time feel better inspecting product before buying (save hassle of mailing back). Sam’s also has yeti coolers and those were all perfect (noticed no quality issue though they weigh more, assuming denser insulation). If I could afford the yeti would purchase from Amazon as they seem to have no quality issue.
5 STARS

11. Siberian Cooler – 5 Stars (1 Review)

Siberian coolers have better ice retention than Yeti coolers at a fraction of the price. The coolers look great and have a similar feature set to Yeti coolers.

With only one rating it’s hard to say whether or not this cooler deserves it’s 5 star rating, but hey, at least it doesn’t have a 1 star rating.

Positive Review Example

Does the job as any other molded high end cooler would do. 5 days of ice. No complaints
5 STARS

Lowest Rated Coolers

The following coolers had the lowest rating of any roto-moulded cooler. Please take the following ratings with a grain of salt as these coolers are far less popular than other brands and thus have very few reviews.

12. Dometic Cooler – 3 Stars (2 Reviews)

With only 2 reviews (one 5 star and one 1 star) it’s hard to say this is a fair rating for the Dometic cooler.

Dometic usually make electric coolers and while I like the cup holders in the lid the handles look like they weren’t thought out for carrying a heavy cooler by yourself.

Positive Review Example

I was not disappointed with this purchase. Keeps everything cold, looking forward to using it a lot this summer 🙂
5 STARS

Negative Review Example

Don’t waste your money. I have a cheap igloo cooler that keeps ice longer. Put a 2 liter bottle froze solid and did not last 24 hrs.

13. Mammoth Titan Cooler – 3 Stars (1 Review)

With just 1 review it’s again hard to say that this is an honest rating for Mammoth.

I love the name Mammoth and the size of these coolers live up to that name. However, just by looking at these coolers I do feel them look a bit too generic for my liking.

With a name with Mammoth you expect something bold, unfortunately all we get is a plain brown box.

The Review

Pretty good, size and shape perfect! Is not holding ice as long as promised, but still better than ordinary coolers.
3 STARS

Unrated Coolers

The following coolers don’t have a star rating at the moment so it’s impossible to comment on what customers have said about it.

14. Black Rock Cooler

15. Icebin Cooler

16. Magellan Cooler

Final Thoughts And Recommendations

Of the 16 coolers mentioned above 7 of them received a customer satifaction rating of 4.5 stars or higher.

If you’ve got the money to spend and want to get a premium brand then I would suggest the Orca Cooler as it’s made in America (Yeti generally isn’t anymore) and ranks in the top 3 in terms of ice retention. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Orca. Read more customer reviews.

If you’re looking to save $100 or so then my next recommendation would be the Pelican ProGear Elite. This cooler is the heaviest but it also packs the most features. In my opinion, it’s the most badass cooler to impress your friends with and also ranks in my top 5 coolers for ice retention which means it will hold ice for a really long time. Read more customer reviews.